Drink Responsibly! 5 Tips for a Healthy Night of Drinking Alcohol

Friday nights always begin with the best of intentions. You may want to take a load off after a busy workweek, see some friends, or just relax with the aid of a couple drinks. Even if you swear you’ll be in bed by 11 p.m., how many times have two drinks become four and suddenly you’re taking shots, belting out karaoke songs, and chatting up someone who’s name you won’t remember the next day? After a Friday night like this, your Saturday will be filled with guilt, blurry memories, ibuprofen, fried foods, and a comatose Netflix binge.

Fortunately for your liver, not every night has to be like that. You can swing by happy hour, go to the bars, and close down the clubs without waking up feeling like you’re going to die. There is a way to be social and enjoy the weekend without making yourself sick. A healthy and fun night of drinking exists, it just takes some planning and a little willpower.

1. Eat first

martini sitting on a table

Martini | Source: iStock

If there is one drinking rule to follow it should be to never go out drinking on an empty stomach. Whether it’s a protein bar you grab at the gas station or a full-blown pasta dinner, make sure you eat something substantial before you go out. If you’re meeting co-workers or friends right after work, grab a snack on your way to the bar or pack something ahead of time. Opt for carb-heavy snacks and meals like pasta, potatoes, and chicken that slowly release energy over time to keep you full. Not only will having food in your stomach slow the effects of alcohol, but eating something at a proper hour will help you avoid the temptation of pizza at 2 a.m.

2. Avoid syrups and sugars

How many times have you woken up after an evening full of margaritas with a raging headache? When it comes to mixed drinks and cocktails, you have the power to lessen the degree of pain you’ll inflict on yourself the next day. Always choose soda water, fruit juice, tonic, or even straight water as a mixer rather than Red Bull, soda, or a syrupy mix. Not only will your waistline thank you for skipping on the extra calories, but your hangover danger will be reduced.

3. Skip a round

group of friends at a bar, drinking beer

Friends drinking beer | Source: iStock

Just because someone decides tequila shots sound like a great idea doesn’t mean you have to jump on the bandwagon. Purposely sip your drink slower than the rest of your crew so you always have a reason to skip a round or plan a hasty exit for the bathroom when people start talking about shots. To stay in control of your evening, take advantage of the instances when you can easily skip a round of drinks or just commit to only having a drink when it sounds good to you.

4. Pick your poison (and stick with it)

If you’ve decided that it’s a beer night, don’t let yourself be pressured into taking a shot, drinking a glass of wine, or ordering a cocktail. Alternating types of alcohol can make you sicker and increase your hangover because of the different sugar levels between beer, wine, and hard alcohol. By sticking with your drink of choice, you’ll also resist the temptation to join in on shots or group cocktail orders.

5. Incorporate H2O

man hydrating with glass of water

Glass of water | Source: iStock

One of the best ways to have a healthy, yet fun night of drinking is to incorporate water throughout the night. Force yourself to drink one glass of water after every alcoholic drink you consume. Not only will this slow down your drinking rate, but it will keep you hydrated and help gauge how much alcohol you’ve actually had. Drinking water throughout the evening and going to bed properly hydrated can help prevent the nastiest of hangovers.

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